RSPB is counting on you Jan 28th - 30th

This weekend, from January 28th to 30th, sees the RSPB’s annual Big Garden Birdwatch take place in all corners of the country.

Picture courtesy R.S.P.B

This is now the world’s largest wildlife survey and is only made possible by the involvement of hundreds of dedicated members of the public. Last year 519,000 people contributed to a nationwide count of 8,262,662 garden birds and hopes are high that these figures will be superseded in 2017.

Participating in this event could not be simpler…and is also extremely enjoyable whether you are young, old, male, female, country dweller or city lover! All you need to do is take a couple of hours out of your day to sit quietly and count the birds that appear in your vicinity - just Settle down in a comfy chair by a window with a good view of natural habitat, with a pad and pen handy to jot down your count.

You do not even need a garden to take part - if you do not have access to one, just pop down to your local park or green space and start counting!

In the past, Suffolk Owl Sanctuary has been proud to support a number of local residential homes in their participation in the Big Garden Birdwatch. Teams of interested residents have spent much of their leisure time taking part in this activity and have enjoyed visits from the falconry team and several owls whilst completing their counts.

Sadly, due to current DEFRA restrictions on the movement of our birds of prey during the current threat of avian ’flu, we are unable to join the counting teams this year. However, we know that their essential contributions to this enormous survey are very much appreciated by the RSPB.

Last year local count results reflected national trends which highlighted the ten most common U.K. garden birds as: Sparrow, Starling, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Robin and Long Tailed Tit.

Big Garden Birdwatch has now collected over 35 years worth of data! This information is vital for flagging up problems in the bird population as well as successes and is often the first step towards putting remedial measures in place. For example, although house sparrow numbers have halved and three quarters of starlings have been lost over this period, blue tit numbers have risen by 20% and the wood pigeon population has increased by 800%!

The RSPB’s tips for completing the survey can be found on their website -

We hope that you will join us in completing this year’s event  - please encourage family, friends, neighbours and workmates to make this the most comprehensive count yet!!